A Pickley Pickle

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:03 pm

A smile of gratitude swept away her sullen mood. He was a wise person, and his words soothed her.

In his time she couldn't imagine how many things he'd have seen and experienced; he'd been around before the rise of Andaria. He watched their home fall into despair and get picked back up again by her, all whilst knowing the truth of her reign. It made her feel small. She'd been around only to know peace as the Queen put their world back together again, she'd not been around when the land was bare and in ruin from the greed of other planets. At least, not that she could remember it being that way.

She wondered if anyone thought badly of her for her age. After all, she never knew the previous rulers, and she was too young when the King died to really comprehend it. Would they question her motivation? It's not as if she felt pain when she thought of Nicholas and Helena, she didn't feel as though anything had been lost. Andaria was all she could ever remember, all else was history. But her family, Emile and most of the others in the rebellion — they lived that history.

It was no matter. Why was she worried? No one had ever bothered her about this before. Besides, she wanted to overthrow the Queen just as much as anybody else, and no one had any right to question her on that.

Even still, Emile was older than even her parents. He didn't talk much of it, but if she asked, she wondered what stories he could tell? All the things he'd seen before now... who did he run with before meeting Archaic? What was his life goal before Andaria's rule? She imagined he was in a gang. Or something much less sinister; like a baker. Well, maybe not a baker. A hunter, perhaps. Why did he choose her father to ally with? He was stronger. He could've begun his own revolution and lead his own kind into the battle with the Crown, but he chose to side with a bunch of humans. What happened before, she wondered, how many friends has he seen perish before now? Friends, lovers, family, enemies... Indeed, he must have many stories to tell.

Shadows poured over her, darkening the wolf's reflective eyes. Snapping herself out of it, she wasn't sure how long she'd been lost in thought. Looking above, a large cloud had blotted out the sun.

"So, Emile. Why don't you tell me a story? After that, we can hunt down a mount for me."
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:23 pm

The wolf watched her a little bit as she seemed to lie there, lost in her own thoughts. His tail moved slowly from side to side in the grass, moving from pure contentment. His ear perked a bit at her voice, and once again he cast his platinum gaze to her as shadows from a cloud began to cover their frames.

"A story?" He seemed to ponder over this notion for a bit.

"Hm. I have many stories to tell, but most are dull, and otherwise not pleasant. However, if you must hear one... I never did tell you how your father and I met." He replied.

"It was weeks, or... maybe even months before King Aaron died. Years before you were born. Things were... bad. Everywhere. For as much as King Aaron was a wonderful person-- or so I've heard-- he was not the greatest of rulers. Food was hard to come by in those times. With little to no funds, farmers had trouble affording seed, plowing their fields, keeping up with their livestock and animals, or even just affording water. Many people outside the cities were hungry, starving, wasting away. Only those capable of bringing down their own prey were well-off, as far as food went. Of course, those with particular... capabilities, like that of my own... found hunting and gathering to be a bit of an easier time than others. So what did the humans do? Of course, most of them began to blame us for their problems. They were grasping at straws, trying to find something to blame, something to motivate them. A place to put all their anger and frustration. Instead of perhaps asking for our help, they turned to hatred, jealousy, and violence. The towns my pack had in our territory were no different. They began to blame us for the lack of food and the dwindling numbers of the wildlife in the area. They said we were over-hunting, and if we weren't over-hunting then we were scaring off the wildlife. In either case, there 'wasn't enough wildlife for them to hunt'.

Of course, we argued with them, and tried to explain that we weren't over-hunting, just merely surviving. Or trying to, at least. No different than they were. We weren't being selfish and using what we were given to gain advantage over anyone. We didn't want power or wealth, or anything. Just to live, as peacefully as we once had. But they weren't having any of it. One day, while we were visiting one of the larger towns in our area, the inhabitants chased us out of the town with pitchforks and torches-- we weren't looking for a fight with them. We never wanted violence. In fact, we had stopped entering towns in our wolf forms in an attempt to keep the townsfolk from feeling threatened and scared, to keep things like that from happening. Apparently it didn't work. Apparently, our presence was enough to get them riled up and angry.

We were just about to be on our way when one of them said that if they ever saw us again, 'well, I could always use more wolf pelts inside my home'. That was the straw that almost broke the camel's back. One of my pack members turned and drew up an arrow in his bow. If not for the quick guidance of one of the elders and my firm word, he would have started a battle that we could not have won. The town's numbers were simply too many. However, it seemed that single act triggered an event that would change our fate, and we were none the wiser. We... we were utterly foolish to think they would really let us off so easy after something like that. That was their excuse to come after us, to hunt and persecute us.

As we made our trek back home, miles upon miles to our little village deep within the forest, we thought that was the end of it. But... we were sadly mistaken. I don't know how they found us... perhaps one of them followed us all the way home, I don't know. But a few days later, as we all slept soundly... they ambushed us, seeking to eliminate their so-called 'competition and threat for survival'. They slaughtered half of our pack before we'd even realized what had happened. And by the time we had realized... it was too late. All we could hope for was a quick death, as we morphed and fought tooth and nail for our lives... and to avenge our fallen family. I don't really remember what happened next. I think... I think one of them stabbed me in the ribs with a dagger or something sharp... I think they thought I was dead, or figured I would bleed out eventually and just left me there to die anyway. But... I was lucky. Somehow, by some stroke of luck or the grace of some gods, or whatever else... I woke up the next morning in more than one kind of pain, but I was alive. It was not a pretty sight or smell, and I knew I had to leave. Where I would go, I hadn't a single clue. I just knew I had to get away, even if I wasn't guaranteed to live. So I picked a direction and just... went.

I don't recall how long or far I travelled. It must have been far, because I didn't recognize the land, but my memories of that brief time are spotty, at best. I was dazed, confused, and barely awake for most of it. My wound to my side was taking its toll, and I doubt I'd have lived much longer if I hadn't have stumbled upon your father's doorstep. I think I vaguely remember him saying, 'Silver eyes... not a wolf. We're going to at least try.' shortly after he'd found me. I don't know if he was talking to someone or not. Maybe it was your uncle, or your mother. I still haven't a clue. Regardless... he, a human of all things, knew what I was and he still decided that my life was worth saving. He didn't see the creature I could be, he didn't see me as some sort monster out to terrorize the human race, he simply saw me as another citizen of Valkaria that desperately needed help. It was a refreshing thought, one I hadn't had in who knew how long. I couldn't even remember the last time a human had cared about my life.

Of course, it was still difficult trusting him at first. Your entire family getting killed... that's not something that you forget so easily, especially when the thought is still so fresh in your mind. I was wary, but I had nothing left to lose and there was little I could do in my state to remedy the situation, anyway. I was at your father's mercy, and mercy he gave me. He... he almost treated me as if I were just another guest in the house, or as if I belonged there. I didn't realize that your mother was similar to me at the time, and so... he was used to it. To him, I was no different than his own brother. By the time I had fully healed, he had asked me if I had anywhere to go. 'No, sir, I do not.'

'Well, you can stay here. We could always use the company.'

So, I pledged him my bow, my fangs, and my life, to thank him for his kindness. He saved my life, gave me a place to call home, and a family to love. It's not the same as what I once had, but... I wouldn't trade any of this for anything." His silver eyes had been fixated on his white paws for nearly the entirety of the story, but once he was finished, his gaze raised to the girl beside him.

"Sorry... like I said. I have many stories... but most of them are dull, and otherwise, unpleasant." He apologized for the not very cheerful story.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:46 pm

As he spoke to her of his history, the intrigued girl reached for her quiver to drag beneath her head as a pillow. She laid on her side, eyes locking onto his face as he recounted the horrid details. Every twitch of his maw, every squint of his eyes; she scanned it all out, reading through his emotions like a well detailed book.

“I… knew there must be a reason. I had no idea, Emile. My family’s kept it shut as well.”

Looking above, she watched the skies as they turned. “He can certainly be a hardass, but it’s nice to know he’s always had that softness to him.”

Giving her attention to the truly lone wolf once again, she reached out and placed a hand upon his head. She drug her fingers lightly through his fur down to his neck. A smile, soft and sorrowful, snuck its way beyond her reach.

“I’m sorry for what happened. I know that must mean nothing now, it’s long passed and I had nothing to do with it. We humans are naturally cruel, it’s our nature. I’ve known that for a long time. It’s not fair to the others… we all inhabit the same damn planet. Just because we’re overbred doesn’t mean we deserve any more than anyone else.” She scoffed, “More contraceptives, perhaps.

But… I am grateful. You’re in our family now, and I love you. I couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like for me had you not been around. Can you imagine one of the others taking as much care of me as you have? I’d have ended up with some crazy accent and a pseudo god complex.”

She laughed, trying to imagine being raised by someone like Chief — or worse — King. No, no, that just wouldn’t have been right at all. She drew away, rubbing at the back of her neck as she stared at the ground with an almost pained happiness.

“It’s a good thing you’re around. I’d have been a mess otherwise. Well, perhaps not so much, but you’ve certainly had a heavy hand in shaping who I am today. You’re the most level headed out of us all. I’m sure that comes with experience.”

Rising, she let out a small groan. Picking up the quiver and bow that laid beside her, she began to get ready for their departure.

“Thank you, Emile. You’ve opened my eyes to a side of you I didn’t know.” She smiled in his direction. “Enough with the sappy shit, though. I think I heard hooves, did you?”
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:49 pm

"Well, I don't think there was ever a reason to tell you, other than to sate curiosity. What's done is done, and it can't be changed... this is the way things are now, and that's all that matters." He responded. There was still a bit of sadness there, but it was faded. He'd long since come to terms with what had happened. While his former friends, family, and life would never be forgotten, he wouldn't dwell on the past. The future was the only place to look.

"Your father's a good man." He replied with a slight bob of his muzzle. As she ran her fingers through his fur, his lids shut for a brief moment as he leaned into her hand. One probably wouldn't guess it from his demeanor or nature, but, truth be told, he loved being petted. It was soothing, like someone running their fingers through your hair.

"I don't think humans are naturally cruel... but I certainly think a lot of humans have been taught cruelty and racism through the generations. It wasn't always like this... there was a time, before even I was born, where everyone lived as equals. But... not anymore, unfortunately." He lamented. However, he couldn't help but let out a small laugh at the thought of some of the others raising a child, even if 'raising' was only in the way he had 'raised' Spoon. Obviously, he was no parent of hers, but throughout the years he had taken tremendous care of her. He had been her baby-sitter when her father and mother had important things to do, he had taught her things when her parents weren't around, he had protected her from wild animals and malicious people, and he had even helped to teach her how to walk and talk. His lips tugged into a soft smile, remembering the fond memory of the first time she'd latched onto his leg when she was trying to walk. All the times that she'd been entertained by his tail as a small child. Those were special memories he would cherish until the day he died.

"I'm sure you would have been fine in the hands of your parents. Perhaps I helped, but, they're a fine sort." He replied. Seeing her grab her quiver and bow, he quickly rose to his paws, giving her a nod. An ear flicked, catching the sound of beating hooves not too far off.

"Yeah, I hear them." He replied, lifting his nose to the wind. It wasn't coming in the correct direction, though, so he couldn't scent to tell what it was.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:56 pm

Taking pause, the young rebel searched her brain for the local bands' daily patterns. There was the stream to the north. It was around the hottest part of the day, so perhaps they were headed to drink. She wasn't positive this was their destination, but she had no other ideas as to where the hoofbeats would've come from.

"C'mon," she beckoned her lycan companion with a pat on the head, "I'm gonna go do something stupid."

With a grin she took off, leaving her parting comment to the imagination. Though, she'd of course been planning this since she awoke from her midday nap.

Keeping her eyes unfocused from anything specific, she did the best she could to feel out her environment; making strong effort to avoid snapping twigs as she barreled through. Once closer to the stream she began a different approach, taking to the trees. She silently approached the water's edge, scoping out the environment. Nothing yet. As quietly as she could, she crawled her way out to the edge of a particularly long branch. There she laid, belly pressed firm against the bark as she awaited a prey that may never come. She could see minnows darting below her own reflection, shining brightly as they passed beneath openings from the canopies above.

It was then that she heard a nearby snort. Her eyes lit up with enthusiasm. A small band wandered lazily into the stream, completely unaware of her presence. It would be a waiting game from here.

She watched as the individuals waded dangerously close to her mark, only to manage to turn back towards safety mere inches from where she needed them to be. It was difficult to maintain her composure; excitement nearly spilling her over the edge any time one of them got close. She wanted so badly to leap from her perch, but she could wait.

It felt as though ages must've passed before her moment came, but it did. He approached. It was the young colt of the group, barely on the cusp of being kicked from the band she imagined. He waded ever closer, until finally he had wandered just below her branch.

She sprang.

A feeling of lightning burst through the clearing, sudden and loud as the herd split and scattered beyond the trees. Sounds of hooves thundering and tearing up soil, water splashing sharply unto solid ground. The colt had been abandoned, but he wasn't intent on giving up the fight. Fear shot wildly through the whites of his eyes, his nostrils flaring as he bucked and leaped. Nevertheless, Spoon held fast to his mane; coiling his wiry locks betwixt her fingers. Squeezing her thighs tightly against his sides, she clung low to his back. It seemed she was trying to merge with the colt as if to become one.

For a while, they fought. He leaped and bounded, bolting from one area to another, turning sharply in an attempt to use gravity to his advantage. He stopped, standing and huffing in the middle of the stream. His legs shook — his whole body shook. The colt wasn't used to fighting so hard. Loosening her grip on his mane, Spoon reached out to give the horse a friendly pat on the neck. He took his chance.

Leaping high into the air, he lunged himself forward and toppled the girl carelessly from his back. He disappeared beyond the brush.

Spitting, Spoon removed soaked hair from her face. Don't count your chickens before they fully submit, I guess.

It was too humiliating to get up, so she sat there, dumbfounded in the shallows.

"Please don't tell anyone about this."
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:16 pm

Black ears flicked as he tried to listen in on where the hoofbeats could be coming from. He couldn't really pinpoint it, but they sounded as if they were heading north. The young woman seemed to have the same notion, beckoning him to follow her with a pat. There was little question that he would follow her, but instant worry shot through him. He would've asked what she meant, but, before he'd gotten the chance, she'd already taken off. Intentionally so, by the look of it-- she'd not wanted to give him the time to protest and try to talk her out of her potentially stupid and dangerous idea.

When they drew closer to the stream in the wood that had previously been north of them, he was a bit perplexed for a moment as he watched her begin to monkey up a tree. However, when she finally made her way to her chosen branch and positioned herself above the stream, it all began to click. The band was probably coming over for a drink, and she was ready to drop right down on top of one's back, if they ever gave her the chance. He wasn't very fond of the idea, as it could go south in any number of ways; but, there was little he could do now that she was already up in the tree, and the horses would come eventually. So, he found a secluded spot to lie down to avoid spreading his scent in the area and tried to stay quiet.

It was a small while before he heard anything, but eventually hoofbeats and snorting reached his ears. They approached fast, at first in a hurry. However, as they drew closer to the stream, they slowed-- as they passed, they seemed more relaxed and lazy than wary. That was good. They hadn't seemed to have noticed a thing. He watched as they almost seemed to tease her, wading in and stopping for a drink just before reaching a point where she could jump onto their back. It was almost a relief-- perhaps by some luck none of them would fall for the trap. For awhile, it seemed that way, and his worry, for the most part, subsided.

Until at last, one of the horses stopped exactly where she needed him to. Again, instant worry shot through him, and as she sprang, so did he. He didn't know why-- perhaps it was purely instinctual, because there was hardly anything he could do at this point. He was fast and strong, but if the colt decided to take off in a blind run at full speed, he wouldn't have been able to stop him by any means. As horses from the rest of the small herd scattered, darting past him, his silver eyes remained fixated on Spoon and the colt as he began to fight, trying to fling her in any manner he could imagine.

After what seemed like an eternity, the colt stopped in the middle of the stream. Every bit of him seemed to be shaking, and he was breathing hard. His muscles were probably not used to such hard running and maneuvers, and he was exhausted. It seemed like the fight was over. However, there was still a bit of something there, Emile could see it in his eyes. There was still a bit of fire there, he still had some fight left in him. Stay on him Spoon, don't let up on him now... He thought, hoping the girl would continue to stick to the colt like glue, just in case. Unfortunately, she began to loosen her grip and relax. As soon as she began to reach her hand forward to pat the colt on the neck, he darted forward in an attempt to get in front of the colt to stop his forward movement. The young horse hardly seemed to care, successfully depositing Spoon into the stream and forcing Emile out of the way as he raced back into the forest and out of sight. The black and white wolf didn't waste a second getting to Spoon's side, making sure she was okay.

"Well, it maybe wasn't the greatest idea, but... you did almost have him. You took a few years off of my life, that's for sure." He couldn't help but laugh a little.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:51 am

A deep, irritated sigh made its way from her throat and finally allowed her room to laugh. A smile beamed out towards her canine companion. Her joking chuckles filled the air.

"Well, perhaps you needn't worry about me so much. I think you'd live much longer that way."

Pushing herself up to her feet, she began wringing her hair and clothing. 'Won't be a fun walk home, waterlogged.' She murmured.

She waded her way out of the water, picking up her quiver and bow once again to pack along with her. Poor equipment, she'd barely given it any use outside of practice. In the past, she'd hunted quite a bit, but with being far from town comes a lack of resources. It was much more sensible to let Emile and Shoe do the hunting and not waste the arrows. Granted that sometimes you could retrieve and reuse an arrow, it wasn't uncommon for them to break on impact.

"It's okay though, it wouldn't have worked anyway." She grinned, betrayed by her embarrassment. "I couldn't have lead him home. I didn't bring a rope."

Even if he'd fully submitted and accepted her as his alpha, she would've had to let him go. It was fine, though, as he'd certainly been a fun little ride. She'd keep an eye out for that colt in the future to perhaps try again. If not, there were always plenty of horses available in the towns nearby; as well as other kinds of mounts, too. Giggles escaped her as she imagined herself riding atop a large bird, charging into battle as it sounded its battle cry — Squaaaaawwk!
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:51 pm

"Perhaps that would be true. But, I can't help it. I care about you. Besides, your father might have my head if something bad happened to you on my watch." He said with a small laugh. Yeah, she was a grown woman, he was well aware. She could make her own decisions and do her own dumb things, but, one thing would be certain; she'd always be her parents' baby, they would always worry, care, and look out for her. By extension... that carried to Emile, too.

He backed up, giving her some space to stand and wring out her clothing and hair, then turned and trotted out of the stream over toward her bow and quiver. Luckily for him, only the lower portion of his body was soaked-- he'd had the luxury of wading in and out of the water, instead of being unceremoniously tossed in by a wild colt.

"Oh, yeah... I suppose that would have been true." The black canid replied, now remembering that neither of them were currently carrying a rope. Getting the colt back would have been tough if not impossible without one. Perhaps it had been for the best that he'd gotten away. He looked up at her quizzically, wondering what it was that she was giggling about, but dismissed it as quickly as it came.

"Y'know... how come Triton's never gotten you a horse to ride? His family's rich enough, so he certainly has the money for it. He could even get you a real nice one." He inquired, finding it the least bit strange that her lover-- or whatever they fancied each other as-- didn't really seem to care enough to even get her a mount so she could actually travel on her own.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Bec on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:16 pm

A dismissive shrug fell from the young rebel's shoulders. "I assume it's just because he prefers I ride his horse."

Grinning, she raised her hands to hold herself dramatically, spinning herself round to collapse into a tree. "You know, close contact." She embraced the tree in a faux-loving manner, her laughter sprouted forth from a snort. "He thinks he's sly, he does."

Pushing away from her newfound bark lover, she began walking towards the village. It was quite the walk on foot, but they'd manage. "Besides, I'd much rather not rely on him for anything-- much less on his money." She brushed aside some branches from her path, continuing on her trek. "For one, he's more than his money. For another, I'd just prefer to make my own way. Being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to give your partner everything. It's not up to him to convenience me at every turn. I can walk just fine, I can get myself a mount just as easily."

She paused, turning to face him as she put a halt to their journey.

"Emile, I can't understand what he sees in me, truthfully. A noble like him-- I'm not exactly feminine. I can be, at times, but not always. My hair is short and dull, I'm not lithe or curvy like royal girls. My skin's imperfect, my eyes are plain and I solve the bulk of my problems with violence. I've seen women of higher bloods before, they're beautiful and refined. They don't exactly live at the bottom of a lake, and they certainly aren't plotting to overthrow the Crown. I just feel like I'm so different from what he deserves. Admittedly it makes me uncomfortable to dine with his family; their table's big enough to build a house with I swear."
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Re: A Pickley Pickle

Post  Agentized on Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:25 am

He couldn't help but shake his head at her antics, a small chuckle escaping from him. However, despite how amusing it may have been, he couldn't help but feel that something was off with the situation between her and the one she loved. He could see the logic in her words to an extent. Yes, the one you loved should be more than their wealth and the material things they give to you. Yes, it was important that she be independent and capable and not need to rely on him, but then, that statement was contradictory-- in not relying on him to get her a mount, she was relying on him to travel. The shortest distance between any of the major cities was the two thousand or so miles between Kalentia and Valendros; travelling between those two cities still took the fastest horses and the best of riders nearly a week. While it wasn't impossible to walk those distances, it certainly took far less time on a horse.

However, he let the notion drop for now-- so far he didn't really have any reason to doubt the boy other than little nit-picky things he said or did from time to time. Besides, if Spoon never even asked the noble for a mount, then he wouldn't know if Triton did have a problem with her having a mount or not. Perhaps the boy didn't want to assume, or wanted to get her one for her birthday or something. There seemed to be an infinite number of possible excuses, for the time being.

"Well... perhaps it's because you're different. He probably sees noble women every day of his life, and I bet none of them are like you. You're charming, and witty, and fun, and beautiful, and you're you. Noble women probably aren't half as unique or interesting. Besides, you actually care about him. Most of those other women would more than likely only care for his name, and his wealth." He tried to answer, but in all honesty, his guess was as good as hers. Not that he thought she wasn't worthy of someone high and noble; she was. Anyone would be lucky to have her. But she certainly didn't seem like Triton's cup of tea, as far as women went. Then again, what did he know? He had no proof and he didn't really know the guy all that well.

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Re: A Pickley Pickle

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